Education Minister R Bindu. (Twitter)
Thiruvananthapuram: In a relief to the Left government in Kerala, the Lokayukta on Friday dismissed a plea filed by senior Congress leader Ramesh Chennithala against state Education Minister R Bindu alleging that she abused her position as minister in reappointing Gopinath Ravindran as the vice-chancellor of Kannur University.
In an order, Lokayukta Justice Cyriac Joseph and Upa-Lok Ayukta Harun-Ul-Rashid said "though it was alleged that the minister was guilty of favouritism, nepotism and lack of integrity", there was absolutely no material to substantiate the allegation.
It also said there was no allegation that she was actuated in the discharge of her functions as minister by personal interest or improper or corrupt motives.
Saying that the complainant has pointed out the "extraordinary speed" with which things moved on a single day to facilitate the reappointment on November 23, the order said it appears that wisdom dawned late and by then time was running out and extraordinary speed was required.
With the co-operation of the chancellor, the reappointment was made as desired by the government. But there was no abuse of her position as minister, the order said.
"In the light of the above discussion, we hold that there is no legal or factual basis for the allegations raised against the 3rd respondent (Bindhu) and that they need not be investigated by this Court under Section 9 of the Kerala Lok Ayukta Act. 15. Therefore, the complaint is dismissed," the order said.
The opposition Congress-UDF has been demanding the resignation of the minister for some time in the wake of the allegations against her over the reappointment of the Kannur VC.